Men protest against rape
By Jason Cheng
Photo by Kate Butler
MELBOURNE — A rally and march against sexual assaults against women was held here on August 31. Organised as part of a national day of action by Men Against Sexual Assault (MASA), the demonstration was attended by about 800 men.
Speakers revealed that, on current statistics, one in four women will be raped before 18 years of age.
"We live in a rape culture", Bob Piece told the rally. Violence against women, threats, pornography, sexist jokes, sexual harassment and sexual objectification were all too frequent and universal.
Piece argued that men have for too long condoned rape implicitly through their silence. As long as there is gender inequality and as long as masculinity is construed as aggressive, competitive and conquering, Piece said, rape will continue.
Kate Gilmore, the Victorian member of the National Committee on Violence Against Women, presented a message of solidarity with the men in the march. She stated "traditional masculinity" was a not problem of biology but of socialisation.